Letter: I am voting for Dunne
I am voting for Dunne
Editor of the Reformer:
The race for governor in Vermont takes on special importance this year because of the economic condition in southern Vermont. The Southern Vermont Economic Development Zone Committee Report, released on Dec. 1, 2015, starts off by saying, "Southern Vermont is in trouble. Its population is declining and aging. Tourism has not recovered from pre-recession levels; residential construction is at half the level of 2006; retail sales are down. Between 2000 and 2013, the under 18 population in Windham and Bennington Counties dropped nearly 20 percent. We must reverse current trends and retain and grow the population, lower the average age, raise the average wage, and promote and embrace greater population diversity. In essence, we need to repopulate southern Vermont. Urgent action is required."
With this kind of indictment of our situation and prospects, we need a leader who will address our shortfalls in broadband, rail and air travel, living and working space, and educational opportunities at the college level and beyond. In my estimation, that leader is Matt Dunne. His experience as an executive at Google coupled with first hand knowledge of our needs coming from his Vermont residency, makes Matt the candidate with the most insight into what we need and how to get it for us.
We are uniquely positioned to generate fruitful relationships with colleges in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and New York that we should make the most of. With the right travel options and broadband availability, we could open the area to telecommuters who would enjoy our clean, uncluttered environment while still operating productively and generating income and sales tax revenue for our state and local coffers.
Modernizing our infrastructure enables our young people, educated at great cost to local residents, to work and live where they grew up making their lives richer, their families closer, and their human capital a productive benefit for their home state.
The stakes are too high to wait any longer, especially in the economically disadvantaged southern Vermont environment. Further deterioration is not an option. Matt Dunne understands all this and promises to work on making southern Vermont economically competitive again. I endorse him and suggest we all vote for him in the primary and general elections.
Rob Giunta, Stratton Mountain, July 22
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